Lagos keeps NFF in the dark over hosting pact
Federation in search of new venue
There are indications that Governor Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos State has abandoned the four-year agreement the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) reached with the state’s former governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, on the hosting of the Federation Cup finals.
The Guardian gathered yesterday that the NFF has been kept in the dark by officials of the state, a situation that has forced the federation to postpone the finals of the competition indefinitely.
The Federation Cup has been held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium on the bills of the Lagos State since the agreement was reached in 2013.
NFF sources told The Guardian yesterday in Abuja that the federation has made several efforts through its first vice president, Seyi Akinwumi, to reach either the Lagos State governor or his commissioner for sports to agree on the date, modalities and its readiness to host the finals, adding that all the moves have been rebuffed by the officials.
The source also disclosed that the situation has led the NFF to commence search for another state to host the finals. “We are not talking about federation cup finals for now because we do not know the mind of our sponsors, Lagos State government.
The first vice president is in Lagos and he has made several efforts to see the new governor on this issue but he has not been successful.
With the situation, there are fears that the state may have turned back on us”. “We have not given up hope on Lagos State because we know that the new governor is a sports loving governor.
While we put the finals on hold, we are sure that Lagos state will honour the agreement. The federation has also commenced the search for a possible replacement as option B if Lagos eventually pulls out, which may not be very likely,” the NFF official noted.
The 2015 Federation Cup final would feature Lobi Stars FC of Makurdi and Akwa United FC of Uyo, who defeated their opponents, Rangers of Enugu and Nasarawa United FC of Lafia respectively at the semifinal stage.